Spring Celebrations: What Easter and Passover Have in Common

Spring celebrations are symbolic of renewal, not only of the earth, but also of family bonds and shared culture. Both Easter and Passover are spring holidays that symbolize freedom, rebirth and renewal of body and spirit.

Easter Sunday is on April 5 this year, but Easter is really an entire season for Christians.

  • It begins with Lent, a 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, which is meant for reflection and penance.
  • Many devotees will fast or give up certain foods or habits during Lent.
  • The Easter feast immediately follows this period and is celebrated with family and symbolism of rebirth and resurrection.
  • The 50 days following are called Eastertide.Apr 5_Easter tri-layer

Passover, which falls on Saturday, April 4, celebrates the liberation of Jews from slavery in Egypt.

  • It’s a weeklong Jewish holiday of renewal and freedom.
  • It’s celebrated for 7 or 8 days.
  • The story of Passover was also taken up by the African slaves in the United States as a symbol of deliverance from slavery.
  • It’s celebrated with family gatherings and symbolic rituals throughout the holiday.

Easter and Passover actually have a lot in common:

  • For starters, both are so-called moveable feasts because the vernal equinox is used to calculate the exact dates of each both holidays.
    • Passover is celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox.
    • Easter is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox. (Unless the full moon is on a Sunday, then Easter is delayed by one week, decreasing the chances both holidays would happen on the same day.)
  • Fittingly, both these celebrations mirror what’s happening (in the Northern Hemisphere) as flowers spring to life and nature experience its own renaissance.
  • Finally, both are times where families gather to give thanks for the love they share.

One of the best ways to begin this season of renewal is to start a fresh relationship with fresh, whole plant-based foods.

In that spirit, author Nava Atlas shares her recipes for Citrus-Roasted Tofu and Vegan Matzo Ball Soup with Spring Vegetables this week.

Enjoy and happy celebrations to all.